Start by cooking the ground beef and the bacon. Slice the bacon into small strips and add to a stockpot with the ground beef.
Cook the beef and bacon over medium/high heat for about 10 minutes, until the beef is browned and bacon is cooked through and crispy.
Chop the potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery. Mince the garlic.
Remove the pot and drain 90% of the grease, leaving around 1 Tbs in the beef mixture. Then add flour. Stir to combine everything.
Add the tomato paste.
Over medium heat add the stock, herbs and spices, sugar, and vegetables.
Cover the pot and cook the soup for an additional 30 minutes.
Once the soup has cooked add the finishing touches to thicken it up. In a small bowl add 1 Tbs flour, 1/4 cup milk and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and pour to the soup pot.
Add the shredded cheese and pickles. (pickle is optional)
Serve by sprinkling with more cheese, diced tomatoes, more pickles, and croutons.